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The innovative chief administrative officer

Catherine Konidas, MBA 02
November 6, 2023
By Ursula Leonowicz, BA 97

Portrait of a smiling woman with straight, shoulder-length blonde hair wearing a business suit.

In her 20-year career, Catherine Konidas has gained an expansive knowledge of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, from day-to-day operations to long-term business strategy.

Konidas joined Altasciences in 2010 to help grow the North America-wide organization specializing in early-phase drug development. As chief administrative officer, she now oversees the company’s human resources management and other key portfolios such as enterprise resource planning and human capital management implementation.

Konidas got her start in the industry at Charles River Laboratories in Montreal. As a newly minted MBA grad, she assumed the role of senior site director at its 1,300-plus-employee facility.

“I started my career the day after I finished at Concordia,” she says.

Career satisfaction

“It gives me pride to see people I’ve worked with evolve over the years and develop into new roles with increased responsibilities. It’s also gratifying to see some of the projects I was involved in take off, projects with large pharmaceutical companies that involved multifaceted groups that needed to be co-ordinated.”

Industry insight

“The evolution I have seen over the last 20 years is incredible and I can guarantee that it won’t stop. Drug development is improving, and it’s happening faster than ever before. There is also the limitless potential of preventively treating patients before they show any symptoms, just because their profile strongly indicates what will happen to them in the future.”

The Concordia factor

“My Concordia experience was exceptional, including the methodology, my great classmates and the use of case studies. I needed all of it to connect reality and theory.

Memorable university experience 

At the John Molson MBA International Case Competition, I was part of an all-female team that competed to be the organizers. From day one, it was a roller-coaster of firsts, including that it happened a couple of months after September 11, 2001.

Work-life balance

“My free time is limited and mostly spent getting my two boys to and from hockey practice, and cheering them on at games. My husband and I co-ordinate to all get together and enjoy dinner as a family.”

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